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NFL

Did Brett Favre’s charity funnel funds to his former school, University of Southern Mississippi?

The plot continues to thicken, as it increasingly appears as though the former Packers star committed fraud through his NGO.

Update:
Did Brett Favre’s charity funnel funds to his former school, University of Southern Mississippi?
Getty Images

With this most recent update, it would appear that the walls are closing in on the former NFL icon, but truthfully, the scrutiny and possible punishment may well be deserved.

Was Brett Favre’s NGO secretly giving money to USM’s Athletic Foundation?

According to reports, it would appear that former Green Bay Packers QB and NFL great Brett Favre could be implicated in a less than legal scenario in which his charity appears to have funneled money to the University of Southern Mississippi’s Athletic Foundation during the period of 2018 to 2020. Indeed, tax records appear to show that Favre also tried to raise finances for a new volleyball center at the institution which he previously attended, and where his daughter also studied and was a member of the volleyball team at the time.

Favre’s charity, ‘Favre 4 Hope,’ was created to bolster charities that provide support to underserved and disabled children in addition to breast cancer patients, according to its mission statement. In recent times, concerns were raised when tax records seemed to show that the charity made sizable donations to the USM Athletic Foundation that were in excess of $130,000. It is understood that the quantity in question was significantly more than the payments made to other organizations.

The Breakdown: A Look at ‘Favre 4 Hope’ and its donations

As far as we know, ‘Favre 4 Hope’ donated $60,000 to USM in 2018, $46,817 in 2019 and $26,175 in 2020. When compared to the largest donation made to any other organization during the same period, $11,000 to the Special Olympics held in Mississippi in 2019, there is an obvious difference in size. To be specific, the largest donations made in 2018 and 2020 were $10,000 payments made to a variety of organizations. According to records, there were also additional payments made to Favre’s daughter’s high school prior to her enrollment at USM. Not a good look to say the least.

In case you missed it, the charity ‘Favre 4 Hope’ is central in a much larger welfare scandal involving the misappropriation of approximately $77 million, making it the largest public corruption case in Mississippi history. As things stand, it is alleged that Favre sent text messages to the director of a non-profit organization expressing concern, regarding his name potentially getting out in public, according reports.

‘Favre 4 Hope’ failed on its obligation

Here’s the thing, aside from the obvious illegality of the actions of Favre and his charity, there is also the ethical obligation which they failed. That’s to say, that the money which the former Packers star and his NGO received, came with a mandate as to how it was supposed to be spent where donors themselves were concerned. To date, we’ve seen the former executive director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, John Davis, plead guilty earlier this month to one count of conspiracy and one count of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds. It is understood that Davis cooperated with four unnamed co-conspirators, two of which are executive directors of organizations.

“MDHS provided federal funds to two nonprofit organizations and then directed the two nonprofit organizations to fraudulently award contracts to various entities and individuals for social services that were never provided,” the United States Department of Justice said in a release on Sept. 22.

From Hall of Fame to Shame: Brett Favre’s record is tarnished

It’s hard to fathom that the said same QB who endeared himself to us so long ago is now the central figure in what appears to be a case of massive fraud. Fans will remember that Favre played quarterback at Southern Miss from 1987-90, before being selected as the 33rd overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons in the 1991 NFL Draft. Traded to the Green Bay Packers the following offseason, Favre would become a household name between 1992 and 2007, as he won three consecutive MVP awards - 1995-97 - and Super Bowl XXXI. After his time in Green Bay, he would join the Jets in 2008 before moving on to the Vikings for a two-season stint (2009 and 2010) prior to calling time on his illustrious career. The legendary signal caller was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016 and until now has largely been considered a darling of the sport. How times change.

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